Parks News

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New Playground for Traders Cove Regional Park

We’ll soon move into a new era in playground equipment at Traders Cove Regional Park, along Westside Road.

After the BC Day long weekend, a modern, new playground will be installed in the 13.5- hectare waterfront park.  It’ll take about two weeks to complete and while the work is underway, the playground area will be closed.  The old playground equipment was removed earlier this spring.

Once installed, children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years will be able to enjoy a new dual-bay swing set (four swings), two slides, climbing apparatus and a play fort structure with a safety approved wood fibre surface below.

The cost of the new play structure is just over $71,000.

Later this fall, the park picnic shelter is slated to be replaced.

The Regional District protects over 2,100 hectares in 30 regional and 20 community parks for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents.  We encourage you to visit rdco.com/pickapark and get started on your next adventure!

Please remember for everyone’s continued safety to follow physical distancing and good hygiene whenever using playground equipment.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@rdco.com.

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No Smoking or Fires in rDCO Parks

This morning (July 29) a potentially dangerous situation was averted in Glen Canyon Regional Park.

Regional Parks staff found and extinguished a campfire near the park entrance along Upper Smith Creek Road.  West Kelowna Fire Rescue also attended.

With a rising fire hazard and continued hot, dry conditions in the forecast, everyone is reminded that smoking, vaping, fires or open flames are not allowed any time in regional parks or RDCO Community Parks. If anyone in a park sees a fire, they should immediately call 9-1-1 to report it.

While the fines for anyone found violating the Regional Parks or RDCO Community Parks bylaws range from $250 to $1,000, the larger danger is that such activity could result in a serious fire that threatens nearby residential areas.

In addition to the regular signage at park entrances, special Fire Warning sandwich boards are being rotated around the regional park system reminding visitors of the fire hazard and that smoking and open fires are not allowed.

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in 30 regional and 20 RDCO community parks.  Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.   Please be safe and remember to keep at least two metres between yourself and other visitors.

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Upgrades scheduled in two regional parks

Over the next month, several major repair projects will take place in two Central Okanagan Regional Parks.

Starting Monday, July 27 to Saturday, August 1, the Acorn bridge over Powers Creek in Glen Canyon Regional Park will be closed.  In addition, a section of the Glen Canyon Greenway trail will be closed for stair repairs mornings Monday through Friday next week north of the Doe Trail bridge from the Brown Road entrance.

Starting August 3 through approximately August 22, there will be scheduled closures for each of the three bridges along the Mission Creek Greenway between the Hollywood Road south and Field Road entrances of Scenic Canyon Regional Park:

  • August 3 – 8 – Smoothing Stones bridge
  • August 10 – 15 – Cedars bridge
  • August 17 – 22 – Friends bridge

The bridge work will see the wood decking removed and replaced, painting of the structures and bearing pad replacement at each end of the bridges.

The Regional District asks visitors to adjust their trail use plans according to the work schedule and planned bridge and trail closures.  Please follow any signage in place and stay out of closed areas. 

The Central Okanagan has 30 regional parks protecting over 2,100 hectares, many of which contain natural forested areas and may contain natural hazards.   Visit rdco.com/pickapark for more information.  For everyone’s safety please practice healthy hygiene and physical distancing by keeping at least two metres between yourself and other visitors.

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Volunteer Stewardship Opportunities - Updated July 31

Learn about invasive plants and do something positive to rid these nasty plants from a section of the Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park.

There are new opportunities coming up for volunteers through the RDCO Parks VIP Invasive Weed Management and Stewardship events.  View Activity Poster

A maximum of eight people can sign up to participate by removing weeds along a section of the popular recreational trail between (NEW) 9:00 and 11:00 am on each of the following dates:

  • Saturday, August 15
  • Saturday, September 19

No experience is needed and training and equipment will be provided.  In order to ensure everyone’s safety, participants will be physically distanced at all times.

For more information or to register for this activity visit rdco.com/parksVIP

The RDCO Volunteers in Parks program has a variety of opportunities available for people who love the outdoors and want to help raise awareness and protect our 30 regional parks in the Central Okanagan.  There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover including 63 kilometres of formal regional park trails for visitors to use while practicing physical distancing.

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Environmental Education centre Re-opens June 23

For the first time since mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced public facilities to close, the EECO will open again.

However, when the doors open for visitors on Tuesday, June 23, there will be some new restrictions in place in order to keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing is required:  everyone must keep at least two metres between themselves and others and a maximum of five people will be allowed in the public portion of the facility at any time.

The EECO will be open from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm each Tuesday through Sunday for the rest of the year and is closed Mondays and all statutory holidays.

Isabella Hodson, Supervisor of Community Relations and Visitor Services for RDCO Parks, says “We want everyone to feel comfortable knowing that we’re following the guidelines of our health experts to ensure their safety.  Visitors to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park can learn and see more about what they can do in our regional park system.  Staff will be available to answer questions about our parks and help with any program registration requirements residents may have.”

She adds, “Due to the limited capacity at the EECO, we encourage people to only visit when needed.  Staff is available by phone (250-469-6140) or email eeco@rdco.com to answer any inquiries.  As well, information about Central Okanagan regional parks and programs is always available online at rdco.com/parks.”

At this point, no public meetings or rentals are being accepted for the facility.

All Regional Parks remain open for visitors using safe distancing practices.  There are 63 kilometers of formal trails in 30 regional parks, many of which are naturally protected forested areas and may contain natural hazards.   Visit rdco.com/pickapark for more information.  If you do visit our regional parks, please practice healthy hygiene and physical distancing by keeping at least two metres between you and other visitors.

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Regional parks Goes Quietly Green

There’s a new vehicle travelling around Central Okanagan regional parks.  What makes this news is that it is the first electric vehicle in the parks fleet.  Nicknamed ‘Casper’ for its ghost-like quietness don’t be surprised if it suddenly appears while you’re out enjoying nature in our regional parks.  The quietness and no exhaust features of the electric vehicle supports one of the goals of our Regional Parks Mission Statement to protect the environment.  The vehicle’s size was an important reason for purchasing it.  Its 53 inch narrow width means the truck is able to cross all our bridge structures along the Mission Creek Greenway and as well as in many of our other regional parks.

 

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Discovery Backpacks

Grab a backpack filled with equipment to discover the secrets of Mission Creek Regional Park.

For a suggested $2 donation, sign out a Discovery Backpack at the EECO. Choose your adventure from the themes Pond Exploration, Forest Walk, Mini Beasts and Kokanee and explore the park!

Check it out at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.  The EECO is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For more information on this and other EECO programs, check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’, visit the Regional District website (regionaldistrict.com/parksevents) or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Washouts Close Section of the Mission creek Greenway

At least two washout slides have forced the closure of a section of the Mission Creek Greenway.  

The Pinnacle Trail loop past the KLO Creek Bridge, the Black Bear Trail along Mission Creek and the upper Greenway Trail leading to the Hydraulic Creek trail-end are closed until further notice while staff assesses damage, stability and possible repairs that will be required.  View Map

For safety reasons, the Regional District of Central Okanagan urges Greenway users to respect the barricades and trail closed signs posted at the KLO Creek Bridge (downstream from Field Road entrance).

Regional Parks staff is continuing to monitor creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational corridor. With creeks expected to continue rising due to the recent weather and with spring runoff, people are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

Boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches are advised to watch for floating debris that may enter the lake as a result of the runoff.

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New Regional Park Management Plan

The Regional Board has adopted a Management Plan for Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park

The 20 year plan will help guide development of the 29.8-hectare Regional Park properties has four unique ecological areas, several species at risk including the Western Screech Owl and the Eco Culture Centre in partnership with the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.  The plan was developed over the past year with extensive input from stakeholders and residents.  It’s designed to respect and protect the cultural, conservation and heritage values of the original 8.7-hectare park with outdoor education opportunities and future recreational connections to the Bellevue Creek Greenway and Canyon Falls Park.  

The management plan is consistent with the proposed 2017 – 2021 Financial Plan and any financial projects will be subject to Regional Board approval.

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There's a Trail for Everyone!

The Regional District is making it easier for people to get out and enjoy trails through our Regional Parks.

Seven of the parks now have designated trails marked with names and rating signs so that visitors can see a degree of difficulty on a particular trail.  There are also trail profiles provided giving a visual snapshot of elevation changes and other features over the length of these designated trails.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “In our Guide to Regional Parks, we’ve always provided a simple rating system for many of our outings in the ‘Take a Hike’ and ‘Explore Your Parks’ programs.   But with a grant from the BC Community Recreation Program dedicated to improving trail signage and the visitor experience in our parks, we’ve been gradually rolling out a uniform trail naming/rating system along with trail profile information.  So a visitor can determine before starting their hike, whether the trail experience will match or perhaps challenge their ability.”

Green circles suggest a very easy/easy outing.  Blue squares provide a more moderate experience, while black diamonds indicate a more difficult or very difficult trail over steep, variable terrain with more obstacles and little maintenance.

Smith adds “Designated trails in Glen Canyon, Kalamoir, Rose Valley, Trepanier Creek Greenway, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, the Mission Creek Greenway and Mission Creek Regional Park all have trail name and rating signage in place.  The ratings are based mainly on slope and distance and provide visitors with a consistency across our park system.  The experience on one trail in one park should be the same with a similarly rated trail in another.”

Trail ratings and profile information is available at information kiosks in these parks as well as for individual park webpages online www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark.  Smith says, “We’ve created some information pages to help explain our trail rating and profile system.  In addition, all our online park trail maps are GPS-enabled.  That means you can use your smartphone or tablet’s internal global positioning system to enhance your experience and navigate our parks and trails.”

Smith says “We’re also very excited about a unique relationship involving our Regional Parks staff and local First Nations.  Park visitors will notice recognition of the syilx/Okanagan culture with the new trail name signs.  We’ve been collaborating for some time now with cultural services staff at Westbank First Nation and Sncəwips Heritage Museum to develop and translate trail names in both English and the Okanagan nsyilxcǝn language.  We’re also starting to install interpretive panels in these areas to further explain the cultural and historical significance of the name in order to raise awareness and provide some context for this important aspect of life in the Central Okanagan.” 

For many years, the Regional District has promoted barrier-free access to its regional parks encouraging opportunities for everyone to get out and explore regional parks.  With the excellent volunteers of CRIS - the Community Recreational Initiatives Society – the Regional Parks system is open to people of all abilities. Contact CRIS www.adaptiveadventures.ca to join in on any Parks Services program.

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Regional Parks Video

Our parks are great to visit at anytime of year.  Check out this new video that shows why!

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)